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|Pioneer CLD-A100 LaserActive Launch Press Release|
Pioneer Electronics (310) 952-2286 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PIONEER'S LASERACTIVE ARRIVES, SETTING NEW STANDARDS FOR INTERACTIVE HOME ENTERTAINMENT NEW YORK, September 13, 1993 -- Marking its entry into the multimedia and videogame arena, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. announces the retail launch of LaserActive -- the industry's first multi-platform system to combine high-quality full motion video, digital sound and interactive capabilities. More than a sophisticated alternative to CD-ROM based systems, LaserActive utilizes superior quality analog video that is the hallmark of the LaserDisc format, and a high density data storage capacity to provide consumers with the most advanced and versatile interactive entertainment system on the market today. Available October 1, LaserActive will be sold through national and specialty retailers in New York, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco. Pioneer will offer an initial selection of Mega LD and LD-ROM2 titles including I Will, Pyramid Patrol, Econosaurus and The Great Pyramid. Eight (or ten) additional titles are scheduled for release in November and December of this year. "LaserActive offers an unprecedented level of interactive performance", said Sho Yamada, president and CEO of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "It achieves the highest quality full motion interactive video possible and realizes the potential for future compatibility with other multimedia formats. Based on its future viability, LaserActive will not only expand the LaserDisc business, but will create an industry-wide demand for more sophisticated interactive home entertainment." Hardware The system, which consists of a main unit (a combination LaserDisc/CD player), the CLD-A100, and one of three optional control packs, was developed in technical cooperation with SEGA Enterprises and NEC Home Electronics. The PAC-S10, developed in conjunction with SEGA Enterprises, will enable users to play eight- and 12-inch LaserActive Mega LD discs, in addition to existing SEGA CDs and Genesis ROM cartridges, and standard CD+G discs. The PAC-N10, developed in conjunction with NEC Home Electronics, will allow consumers to play eight- and 12-inch LaserActive LD-ROM discs, as well as current Turbo Graphx CD-ROM discs and game cartridges and CD+G discs. The PAC-K1 will provide compatibility with over 200 available LaserKaraoke titles. Designed to take full advantage of existing software libraries including more than 50,000 CDs, 7,500 movie titles, xxx videogames and 2,000 LaserKaraoke hit songs, LaserActive extends the utility and performance level of a multimedia product beyond current competing formats. "Given the high degree of software compatibility and tangible consumer benefits, we're confident about LaserActive's market acceptance," said Mike Fidler, senior vice president of Pioneer's home electronics marketing division. "The emergence of digital based interactive systems, with limited and non-compatible specifications, has created a lot of confusion at both the retail and consumer level. LaserActive, which is based on LaserDisc technology, offers consumers a familiar product with advanced performance capabilities, an existing software base and a strong dealer support network." Software LaserActive offers not only the superior sound and picture quality of LaserDisc, but the necessary storage for advanced, interactive software applications. Existing interactive formats digitally store an application program plus images, sound and other data within a 540 megabyte area. LaserActive consists of the same 540 megabyte area, plus a separate 60-minute analog image and FM audio storage area, which allows the 540 megabyte area to be used exclusively for interactive data capabilities. Due to the use of existing photographic imagery, LaserActive software can be easily produced without the need for digitization. The LaserActive Mega LD authoring system combines commercially available equipment (including a personal computer, in-circuit emulator, Pioneer's rewriteable video disc recorder and interface board) and a SEGA CD authoring system, enabling developers to integrate both analog and digital information. This production capability creates an abundance of software possibilities and contributes to budget, time and manpower savings for developers and multimedia publishers. Software Development Pioneer is currently discussing software development and production opportunities with leading U.S. multimedia developers including the New Learning Project, Virgin Games, Digital Pictures and SEGA of America. Additionally, the company plans to establish a special division at its headquarters in Long Beach, Calif., that will be responsible for LaserActive software development in the United States. One of the division's responsibilities will be to organize a "Multimedia Creators Network," which will consist of individual computer graphic experts, musicians, film producers, directors and academic researchers, who have expressed interest in developing LaserActive software. This U.S.-based Network will be modeled after the Multimedia Creators Network in Japan, recently established by Pioneer Electronic Corp. SEGA Enterprises and NEC's Home Electronics division will grant respective licenses for their MEGA LD and LD-ROM formats. Pioneer will grant licenses for both formats, while all three companies will continue to encourage LaserActive software development by third party domestic and foreign collaborators. Advertising and Promotions To coincide with the market introduction, Pioneer will implement a national print advertising campaign targeting high-profile consumer and industry publications, as well as major metropolitan newspapers within each market. Direct mail and in-store point-of-purchase materials will be used to reinforce the versatility and superior performance of LaserActive among consumer and retail audiences. Pioneer also will provide regional advertising and dealer event support in the major markets. Product Availability The LaserActive player and control packs will be available in October 1993 at the following suggested retail prices: CLD-A100 $970 PAC-S10 $600 PAC-N10 $600 PAC-K1 $350 LaserActive software will retail for $120 per title.